Every fortnight I curate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds.
@holden: “So a radical idea — maybe instead of teaching learners to code we should teach coders to learn: sociology, history, policy.”
“No one is going to give you the education you need to overthrow them.” —Assata Shakur, via @IamMzilikazi
@existentialcoms: “Philosophy is important because otherwise we would just be doing stuff without thinking about doing stuff. Come on, you can’t just do stuff.”
The Guardian: The End of Capitalism has begun [extract from Postcapitalism by Paul Mason]
“The main contradiction today is between the possibility of free, abundant goods and information; and a system of monopolies, banks and governments trying to keep things private, scarce and commercial. Everything comes down to the struggle between the network and the hierarchy: between old forms of society moulded around capitalism and new forms of society that prefigure what comes next.”
“What amazes me the most about all this is how easy it was for three unpaid researchers with an API key and about 30 lines of code to download several million tweets and in just a couple hours of data analysis to uncover evidence of a massive influence operation and write it up in time for it to influence the press coverage of the election in multiple countries (see New York Times, Slate, Bloomberg News, Quartz, and 24.hu in Hungary).
When Twitter says “it’s hard,” or “it’s expensive,” or “it’s impossible,” that’s simply not true. If we can do it, they can certainly do it. (And while I understand the difference between a researcher saying “I’m pretty sure I found something” and Twitter saying “that’s sufficient evidence to suspend your account,” there’s absolutely nothing stopping Twitter from saying “We think we see something, but we’re not confident enough to suspend all these accounts right now, but we’ll notify the appropriate law enforcement or counterintelligence agents“! If the latter were all they did, I would be ecstatic!)”
“Instead, he [Jesse Rothstein] found that differences in local labor markets—for example, how similar industries can vary across different communities—and marriage patterns, such as higher concentrations of single-parent households, seemed to make much more of a difference than school quality. He concludes that factors like higher minimum wages, the presence and strength of labor unions, and clear career pathways within local industries are likely to play more important roles in facilitating a poor child’s ability to rise up the economic ladder when they reach adulthood.”
“Like heuristics, models work as a consequence of the fact they are usually helpful in most situations, not because they are always helpful in a small number of situations.
Models can assist us in making predictions and forecasting the future. Forecasts are never guaranteed, yet they provide us with a degree of preparedness and comprehension of the future. For example, a weather forecast which claims it will rain today may get that wrong. Still, it’s correct often enough to enable us to plan appropriately and bring an umbrella.”